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The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1806, is one of the oldest orchestras in Switzerland. In addition to the various concert series that it presents at the Kultur- und Kongresszentrum Luzern (KKL), the orchestra performs in all of the opera productions at the Luzerner Theater. Its seasons are devoted not only to the Classical and Romantic repertoire but also regularly include rarities and contemporary works. For example, in recent years it has presented newly commissioned scores by Wolfgang Rihm, Sofia Gubaidulina, Marc-André Dalbavie, Pascal Dusapin, Thomas Adès, and Fazıl Say. Since September 2011, the American James Gaffigan has served as music director. Other conductors who have had a major presence in recent seasons include Matthias Bamert, Andrey Boreyko, Peter Eötvös, Hannu Lintu, Andris Nelsons, Vasily Petrenko, and Leonard Slatkin. Jonathan Nott, who was music director from 1997 to 2002, also regularly returns to the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra. Among the acclaimed soloists who perform in the subscription series are Martha Argerich, Renaud and Gautier Capuçon, Isabelle Faust, Vilde Frang, Kirill Gerstein, Hélène Grimaud, Hilary Hahn, Gidon Kremer, Truls Mørk, and Maria João Pires. The orchestra’s artistry has been documented on recordings of works by Brahms, Bernstein, Dutilleux, Dvořák, Krenek, Gubaidulina, Rihm, Saint-Saëns, Say, Schreker, and Weill; their most recent release, from the fall of 2017, is a complete Beethoven piano concerto cycle with Oliver Schnyder. The musicians regularly travel as well. In the summer of 2016 they undertook a tour to four Asian countries, and in the spring of 2017 they performed at the Bogotá International Music Festival. Guest performances during the 2017-18 season included concerts at the Ravinia Festival in the United States and the Festival de Besançon, as well as in Abu Dhabi, Amsterdam, St. Petersburg, London, Paris, and Moscow.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 23 August 1993, with Vladimir Kiradjiev conducting works by Schnittke.